On the 30-man list of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team announced by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on the 4th, the LG Twins had the most six players selected. The dominant analysis is that last year, LG won 87 wins, the most wins in the club’s history, and ranked second in the regular season.
Among the six players who 안전놀이터 joined the national team from LG, the player who was somewhat unexpectedly accepted was Kim Yun-sik, a left-handed pitcher born in 2000. Yunshik Kim, who graduated from Jinheung High School, was nominated by LG in the 3rd place in the 2nd 1st round in 2020 and joined the team.
Kim Yun-sik, who joined the team after receiving the top draft order, did not play a significant role until 2021, when he was in his second year as a pro. He went back and forth between the starters and the bullpen, but it was hard to define that he settled in either. In 2021, he won 7 games, but the detailed indicators were not very good, with an earned run average of 4.46 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.707.
Ahead of the start of the 2022 season, Kim Yun-shik was considered one of the 5 starting candidates. He was in a position of internal competition with his seniors, left-handed pitchers Son Joo-young and Lim Jun-hyung. However, Son Joo-young was injured and Lim Jun-hyeong fell into a slump, so Kim Yun-sik naturally settled into the 5th starter.
In the second half, Kim Yun-shik proved a remarkable growth trend. He appeared in 11 games and showed off stable detailed indicators with an average ERA of 2.68 and an OPS of 0.623 while winning 5-2. He was full of confidence on the mound, using his fastball as well as his changeup and slider freely. Kim Yun-sik has established himself as the third starter following foreign pitchers one-two punch Kelly and Plutko.
Kim Yun-shik’s upward trend continued until fall baseball. In the 3rd game of the playoffs, where LG and Kiwoom Heroes faced each other 1 win 1 loss, Kim Yun-shik started. It was a confrontation with Ahn Woo-jin, the best pitcher who won the regular season ERA (2.11) and strikeouts (224 strikeouts) title. Kim Yun-shik did not shrink at all, and he met the requirements for a winning pitcher by pitching well with 3 hits, 3 strikeouts, and 1 run in 5.2 innings.However, after Kim Yun-shik was beaten after 82 pitches due to back pain, the LG bullpen Pil Seung-jo, 안전놀이터 whom he trusted, collapsed out of control. LG suffered a reverse defeat 4-6 and was driven to 1 win and 2 losses. LG lost 1-4 in the 4th game the next day, and was eliminated and their advance into the Korean Series was frustrated. In Game 3, it left me with a deep regret, wishing that Kim Yun-shik had been able to digest long innings in a normal physical condition.
Many people say that Kim Yun-sik’s selection for the WBC national team is not a surprise. It is a story that he has enough qualifications with his performance in the second half of the regular season and the playoffs. In the MLB World Tour, which was scheduled to be held in November of last year but was canceled, Kim Yun-sik was also named Team Korea, which corresponds to the national team. At this time, there was an expectation that Kim Yun-shik’s selection for the WBC national team was likely.
There is a prospect that the growth of Kim Yun-shik, who will be participating for the first time as an adult national representative through the WBC, will be even steeper. It is expected that there will be a lot of things to see and learn while eating rice with senior left-handed pitchers representing the league, such as Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG), Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA), and Koo Chang-mo (NC). When you pitch in the WBC and experience a big game, you also gain valuable assets that are difficult to obtain elsewhere. There is a good chance that Kim Yun-sik will succeed as a left-handed pitcher leading Korean baseball in the future.
If Kim Yun-sik fights well in the WBC, the selection of the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled for September can become a reality. Attention is focusing on whether Kim Yun-shik, who has the Taegeuk mark, will establish himself as the left-hander representing the league.
[Related Article] LG-Doosan, will it be different in 2023?